Tesla has knocked off Toyota as the biggest auto employer in the state of California, employing over 6,000 people to the Japanese company's 5,300. That lead is only likely to grow, as the EV manufacturer prepares to add another 500 jobs by the end of the year, and as Toyota begins its relocation to its new North American headquarters in Texas. The news comes barely a week after the company announced a $50 million loss during the first quarter of 2014.

Tesla's statewide employment could be set to double, beyond even 6,500 people, if it follows through on rumors to construct its eagerly awaited gigafactory in the Golden State. The $5-billion venture could add another 6,500 employees, making Tesla not just the largest automotive employer in the state, but making it one of the largest employers in the state full stop.

The investment of Tesla and its founder (and real-life Tony Stark), Elon Musk, has been substantial. The company has added 3,000 employees in the state since 2013, reopening the Toyota and General Motors joint-venture factory that use to be known as NUMMI in 2009 and constructing a design studio in Los Angeles, all in addition to its Palo Alto headquarters.


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